Health concerns about mesothelioma and asbestos date to ancient Egypt. However, medical information linking asbestos as the only known mesothelioma cause was only confirmed in the last century.
The link between mesothelioma and asbestos, especially the risks associated with workplace asbestos exposure, has been documented and studied since the 1920s. Even still, asbestos manufacturers touted the safety of their work environments and denied any mesothelioma and asbestos link throughout the 20th century. That has changed. The American Cancer Society currently lists asbestos exposure as the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Risks in the 1900s
While the history of asbestos use goes back centuries, the mineral’s fire retardant property made it a popular material for industrialists to use in many new products beginning in the late nineteenth century. However, as the use of asbestos grew, so did concerns about its harmful effects.
The first reports of lung disease among asbestos workers and their families emerged as early as 1897, but the data was largely ignored. By the 1920s, some American and Canadian insurance companies denied life insurance policies to asbestos workers after “Asbestosis” was coined in a 1924 British Medical Journal report.
By 1940, asbestos companies searched for legal loopholes to sidestep accountability for the asbestos exposure symptoms their workers were………
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